Canadian Pizza Magazine

Bone-in chicken wings top boneless in U.S. study

Chicago – The most popular type of chicken wing in the United States is bone-in, according to a study by NPD Group.

With nearly half of the U.S. population ordering chicken wings at restaurants and foodservice outlets and servings on the rise, the global information company carried out a study to help restaurant operators know the ratio of people who prefer boneless to bone-in chicken wings.

More than 60 per cent of wings served at restaurants are bone-in, the company said in a news release. In addition, over the past year, servings of bone-in were up six per cent while declining by a similar rate for boneless.

The study, which is based on NPD’s “Checkout” consumer receipt harvesting service, examines the purchase patterns of wing buyers and how restaurant operators react to fluctuating wing prices. Wing prices increased during the summer while the demand remained high but prices declined over the past three months. Boneless wings are more heavily promoted over bone-in wings when prices are high.


The study also concluded that most customers had a strong preference for either bone-in or boneless that survived fluctuations in price.

“Foodservice operators and suppliers offering chicken wings need to understand purchase patterns of wing buyers in order to menu appropriately, price accordingly, and tailor marketing to grow in the headwinds of price increases,” said Bonnie Riggs, the company’s restaurant industry analyst. “Most wing buyers aren’t fair-weather fans; they are super fans who stick with one type of wing regardless of price.”